Under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — who chairs the Judiciary Committee — the current Senate has confirmed more women to the federal judiciary than any previous Senate in any previous president’s first term. Schumer pointed out that this feat is nearly double that of former President Donald Trump.
Following Trump’s record 231 confirmations throughout his four years in office, Biden has been committed to diversifying the federal bench, especially since conservatives have packed lower courts for years.
Federal judges serve lifetime appointments and rule on a variety of cases, from elections to abortion access, so their rulings affect people’s lives in more ways than one. Adding a diverse set of federal judges not only builds a judiciary that accurately reflects the American population but also could improve the chances of fair and just rulings.
As Jody Murphy, chief program officer at End Citizens United told Democracy Docket, “A diverse judiciary ensures a broader range of perspectives that can help safeguard our democracy from the undue influence of special interests and uphold the principles of fairness and equity.”
Filling federal judicial vacancies with progressive, pro-democracy judges is crucial as election and voting rights litigation picks up heading into 2024.
With the 150 historic confirmations, including the confirmation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Black female justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Biden is outpacing his predecessors by diversifying the federal judiciary in terms of gender, race and professional backgrounds — a critical step toward balancing federal courts.